GPA was established by the Ports Act of 1972 to take over the assets and operations of the erstwhile Marine Department. GPA, which is a monopoly in the marine sector, is responsible for the management, operation and development of marine and cargo handling services at the Port of Banjul. It is a strategic entity in the sense that it facilitates international trade and will serve as a focal point in the trade gateway project.
In 2001, the ferries department was hived off from the Gambia Public Transport Corporation and transferred to GPA. Apart from the provision of ferry crossing services in Banjul, the Ferries Department also operate ferry crossing at eight other crossing points throughout the country. These are at Yellintenda/Bambatenda, Basse, Jarreng, Janjangbureh, Barajally, Sankully Kunda, Bansang and Fatoto.
GPA, which is wholly owned by the Government, has a share capital of D16.3 million.
Geographic Service Coverage
The GPA's main port is located in Banjul. It is mainly used for discharging and loading shipment for Container Carriers, Tankers, ro-ro and General Cargo Vessels. It also provides a Navy base for the Gambia Navy and provides a ferry-crossing Terminal for Banjul/Barra crossing. The other port is located in Kaur. It is small and not operational.
• Berthing Capacity
GPA operates with 5 berths and a ro-ro ramp for ro-ro vessels. The new Banjul Jetty's outer berth 3A and 3B hosts maximum 2 container vessels. Banjul Wharf Jetty's inner berth number 2 and New Banjul Jetty's inner berth number 4 are considered to be suitable for smaller vessels such as Fishing and Coastal Vessels. The outer berth number 1 is considered unrestricted since all other non Container Vessels could berth there. However, it is mostly used by Petroleum Tankers and General Cargo Vessels.
The average length of time these vessels use berths for discharging and loading depends on the kind of cargo it is handling. Container and ro-ro Vessels use an average time of 24 hours, while bulk cargo vessels with a tonnage of 15,000 tonnes use an average of 15 days respectively.
The customer base of the GPA can be classified into the following categories:
• Shipping Line/Agencies
• Local Businessmen (Importers/Exporters)
• Petroleum and Oil Companies & National Water and Electricity Company
• Clearing and Forwarding Agencies
• General Public and Truckers for onboard ferry crossing